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Suzuki says next season will be her last


Akiko Suzuki, who finished a disappointing fourth at the national championships over the weekend, announced on Monday that she would retire from competition after next season.

The 27-year-old Suzuki, who will represent Japan at the world championships in March, could compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics before hanging up her skates. She held the lead at the nationals after the short program, but skated poorly in Sunday’s free program.

“I will compete through next season,” she said. “I believe this will be my final chance (to compete at the Olympics). I feel this is an important challenge.”

Suzuki said she had asked her coach Hiroshi Nagakubo to help her reach her final goals.

“I want to review each and every fundamental component,” Suzuki said.